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Poster: AltheaRose Date: Jul 20, 2010 7:21am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Jerry's coma

Historical question here. As a certain sad milestone approaches, I was thinking about how there are three music-related "Where I Was When I Heard" moments that I recall in vivid detail, even to where I was standing or sitting when I heard or read the news: Jerry's death, John Lennon's death, and Jerry's coma. I was wondering about the dates of his coma, but couldn't find it online (other than July '86), and I'm not around my various books to check. I have a feeling, though, that some of the GD history mavens here might know ...

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Poster: turnphilup Date: Jul 20, 2010 8:41am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Jerry's coma

July 1986, know about that one, but what the hell happened in July 1992 as well? I had tickets to Venetta that August and Jerry went and got sick again, I mean he was "exhausted" again. They canceled these shows and at Shoreline as well. Man,I was so pissed. Selfish I know, but weren't we all at some time? After seeing the bootleg of Sunshine Daydream and the vibe of that wonderful 1972 show, I could not wait to get to Oregon. The tickets even said "The Grateful Dead and other stuff". I always wondered what that "other stuff", was going to be? Anyone care to guess. Most likely Kesey and some Prankster shenanigans. I used to plan my vacations around the boys, and this was one trip I hated to cancel. Oh well, they say chasing the dragon leaves you quite fatigued. I should have figured. The band was never the same to me after this last episode, and it was downhill over the next 3 years(sound wise)to me, right up to the bitter end. I still kept going though, looking for that elusive sound or moment. If was just to shake my bones, or just stand and stare in shear awe. I had to be there. Listening to shows from '93 to '95 now, I wish I had not wasted my time and resources, but man, back then, there was no place I would rather be! The anticipation of the first song after the lights went down, was just heavenly, or what I picture heaven to be like. Peace to all. Thanks to the archive for letting me chase that sound.

This post was modified by turnphilup on 2010-07-20 15:41:08

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Poster: johnnyonthespot Date: Jul 20, 2010 2:59pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Jerry's coma

nice post. I understand. I saw my last shows in 92 right after that break - they sucked, sound sucked, playing lackluster. I moved up to AK and for the enxt three years I longed and ached to see the band. Now in retrospect I know I didn't miss out on shit and spared myself disappointment but like you I would have kept searching for the sound

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Poster: micah6vs8 Date: Jul 20, 2010 9:21am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Jerry's coma

I have often wondered inside the close circle how much of their own non actions led to their friend's death ? Was the music playing the Band , or were the many long time employees , many with large salaries running the band . ( A reason later to sell GDM to Rhino , as well . ) One . Two . And unfortunately , esp. for Mr. Garcia himself ( and his daughters ) , Three strikes and you are out . That must have been some hard grief for PL , BW , BK , ect.

I am still angry about JG's early death . Maybe I haven't ' gone through all the stages ' , yet . I don't know . Maybe there is a reason to still be PO'ed at the foolish neglect , leading to his early death , by JG and those closest to him . I do not ' know ' much about D. Koons . Most of what I have read does not place her in a positive light . I do know to down to my soul , how to care , protect and love my spouse as much as I can ( as many , if not all of us do ). Where was she ? Unacceptable .

I was in Dover NH , around noon , working , when I heard the news . I had pull over , and as soon as I was able to speak began calling family & friends . Lots of busy signals . Lots of bitter tears . We had just received are Boston GD tics , w/ ' We Are Going To Tear This Old Building Down ' emblazoned across . That night we had tics for Ratdog @ the Casino . That is another post in of itself .

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Poster: Finster Baby Date: Jul 20, 2010 10:10am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Jerry's coma

Understand your frustration Micah.
I think there are some things that those around JG could have done differently...and most have said so, if I'm not mistaken.
The sad fact is tho', that nobody could have changed his behavior except Jerry himself. The "family" tried at least once or twice to "help" him see the light with marginal results. Eventually he slipped back into the old habits.
Ultimately proved to be his demise.

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Poster: AltheaRose Date: Jul 20, 2010 10:54am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Jerry's coma

Koons seldom comes across well, but I wonder if that's entirely fair; to some extent, her own actions have made her a convenient scapegoat. I have no idea of the extent to which she tried to deal with his many issues (addiction and general health), but addicts are never easy to reach, and JG was notoriously difficult to confront.

I do think it's astounding they never called a hiatus to the touring except when he either collapsed or was about to collapse. The Rule of Non-Interference that they all seemed to live by is partly what I think allowed them to endure for so long, but the flip side is obvious in retrospect.

Still, what DO you do about an addict as brilliant, charismatic, utterly relied upon, and as fully committed to the beatnik-inspired, stay-out-of-other-people's-business philosophy as JG?

I'm sure they've all second-guessed themselves a million times, not just in the band, but in his (actual) family and the whole organization. When you see the sensible touring schedule of Furthur, and see how healthy the others seem so many years later, it's hard not to think of what might have been. But it's not what the fates decreed ...

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Poster: Dudley Dead Date: Jul 20, 2010 10:50am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Jerry's coma

I don't remember when I heard about the coma, but I had no Idea at the time how serious it was . I had heard by 92 he was having "troubles again , etc.
As for his death , I standing was near the doorway to my Classical room at Tower,with the store artist Ron ( older guy than me , not a Dead fan , but he knew how much I loved them), when the word hit . I could see my friend was worried for me, and I said to him, " Well, It's not like it is unexpected" .
Truthfully, the whole post-coma period was a generous encore . Jerry could have died anytime in the 80's , and it is miracle of his fans love and his music that he lived as long as he did . His performances with the Dead were getting more and more erratic , but the stuff with Grisman, and his songwriting , prove he wasn't finished yet . At least his actual death was relatively quick, and hopefully fairly painless .

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Poster: johnnyonthespot Date: Jul 20, 2010 11:45am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Jerry's coma

which Tower did you work at Dudley? I worked there too in the days when they had artists. Good times

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Poster: Dudley Dead Date: Jul 20, 2010 12:27pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Jerry's coma

I was the Classical Buyer at Tower El Toro ( mts #138), then we moved across the freeway to Laguna Hills ( one of those WOW stores ) . I was there 24 years to the end .
JOTS , which one did you work at ?

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Poster: johnnyonthespot Date: Jul 20, 2010 12:47pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Jerry's coma

right on.

I worked at the Berkeley store and it was pretty much as weird and dysfunctional as you would expect or maybe even had heard. Their classical store was down Telepgraph down the street and Phil used to come in there all the time. Never got to meet him. Did meet Brent once when he came to the the store I was at.

Probably THE funnest job I ever had because I was surrounded by good music and weird people. Knew I had to get out of there though, as well as the Bay Area ( as much as I LOVE it, I was born there and it's always felt like my home )otherwise I knew I would stay in a dead end or worse. TOO much fun iykwim, and too cheap and readily available access to stuff I loved but was bad for me.

still.... good times, great memories

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Poster: Dudley Dead Date: Jul 20, 2010 2:54pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Jerry's coma

Yeah , Tower was a blast . I am guessing you were there in the 80's ? Just nutszo .
Even in sleepy south Orange County , it was well..
Like the time The Manger, the Assistant, and the manger under her , got pulled over for pot, leaving NO ONE to do any of close the store , etc. ( the cops were merciful, and let them off )
Like the time we had an employee meeting at 6 am, and my boss pulls out a pistol and fires it off , "WAKE UP" ( it was a blank pistol, but still ).
Coke coming in the transbox
The Halloween where we had a water ballon fight and hit costumers
throwing the "Duracell battery rack off the roof to get it on Letterman
( should have seen the reps face when I told him what happen to his battery rack)
Playing "Axis and Allies" in the boss's office, he would call the players off their reg. to do their turn . Parties in the store . etc etc etc.
And all the crazy, people that came trough there ...
Yes it was fun ( weren't paid well, but got tons of promos ) .
I was not there but , Weir came in with Wassermann , one time .
In the Classical front I met a bunch of folks who played with the great conductors, and composers . Not Classical, but I did meet the great arranger Billy May ( Sinatra etc.) . Got paid to talk to people about music .
Miss it .

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Poster: johnnyonthespot Date: Jul 20, 2010 8:38pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Jerry's coma

pretty damn close. End of 80's through 91. Seems like craziness ran throughout all the Towers. I remember boss and crew drinking around the corner and getting the tab reimbursed through the register with the slip reading " employee relations" haha

Being called into the Boss's office for things that had nothing to do with work ( NO not THAT sickos )

Meeting crazies everyday, regulars, friends, freaks off the street like this manic guy known as ROAR that would come in and start doing push ups.Friends of friends associated with the Hog Farm and assorted family and the funny thing was is all the " alternative" people who worked there with all their piercings and eyeliner never seemed to be able to score anything harder than Vodka ( not for lack of trying ) meanwhile some of these older folks ( ones that I hung out with which had an even extra bonus of always getting me into the bar under age )who you wouldn't think by looking at them were doing all sorts of crazy shit.

And the artists? Talented as hell and definitely each one of a kind

The buyers buying great shit that people HAD to have even if the store couldn't sell it

Me - I wasn't a buyer I was shipping/receiving so I didn't get first dibs on the promos especially the clean ones but I remember the clueless types wondering why I would grab shit that no one liked not realizing they could go around the block and trade and sell them.

Folks like Lars Ulrich coming in 5 min till closing and being given shit by the alternachick running the reg because he was buying metal mags him and his friends were in. Unknown band at the time Primus coming in to give out free tix to staff.

Lots of stories, many I shouldn't be telling here.

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Poster: Dudley Dead Date: Jul 21, 2010 7:12am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Jerry's coma

Yes, some of the stories are best kept quit . It wasn't all roses: being paid shit, here is a word that should make you clench your sphincter ..."Inventory" ...
I became more "pro" as time went on, some sanity was truthfully was welcome .
Bur when Tower started hurting, it was a long sad decline . And when the banks got their claws into us , and we started doing centralized buying And returns , returns, returns, ( my Bach section went from 6+ racks down to 1 ), the bean counters were killing us . ( I see this happening a Borders, I used to be able to browse and find all sorts of cool stuff , now ,do they just want me to go online ?).
The local Orange County paper did an article on the store that bough me some time , but the end was near . Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain.
http://artsblog.ocregister.com/2006/10/25/so-long-charlie-goodbye-tower/559/

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Poster: Finster Baby Date: Jul 20, 2010 8:39am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Jerry's coma

On or about July 14th 1986.
They played 2 shows in DC on 7/6 and 7/7. Last 2 shows of the tour.
Jerry collapsed at home about a week later.

Have no recollection whatever of where I was when I heard the news.

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Poster: ducats Date: Jul 20, 2010 9:41am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Jerry's coma

and you were sitting or standing.............?

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Poster: AltheaRose Date: Jul 20, 2010 10:15am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Jerry's coma

Why, standing, actually. Heard it on the radio.

I was wondering how close the coma was to the July 2 Rubber Bowl concert with Dylan. I almost went to that but didn't; had friends going, but would have had to fly there (since I was nowhere close to any shows that summer), and that seemed like too much bother.

Then, of course, while he was in the coma, I felt like I might have missed the Last Chance Ever. It seemed like there were many tense days -- five days? a week? -- of waiting for news and, in the pre-internet era, not getting much info ...

After that, I think it felt like he was on borrowed time. Diabetes is no joke, and it was pretty obvious he wasn't taking care of himself the way he should have. So when he died, it was a shock and it seemed the air went out of the room and all, but it wasn't completely out of the blue like the coma seemed to be. Up until then, I guess it had never occurred to me that they might not just go on and on and on.


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Poster: robthewordsmith Date: Jul 20, 2010 10:02am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Jerry's coma

Blair Jackson says it was July 10 and that Garcia was in and out of coma for four days. Also that he had a systemic candida infection that put him in the ICU for four days and a ten-day kidney shutdown requiring emergency dialysis. Two months later Garcia said the doctors had never seen anyone as sick as he was who wasn't dead. And then he had to start learning how to play again...

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Poster: aurorasmith Date: Jul 20, 2010 10:07am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Jerry's coma

I was with him on his first show back in Oakland. It was sad, but he didn't remember me, although I had done several solo openers for him as far back as 1978, and had spent several hours just "noodeling" and talking with him over the years. Bill Walton was backstage that night, and I could see Jerry wasn't too fixed on who he was either.

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Poster: micah6vs8 Date: Jul 20, 2010 10:31am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Jerry's coma

Those are the stories that break my heart .

A far cry from this ,

http://userserve-ak.last.fm/serve/_/3522279/Jerry+Garcia+jerry6wb9.jpg

or this ,

http://carshow.ifrance.com/artists/p/pop60/jerry_garcia_038.jpg

Welcome au 'smith .

This post was modified by micah6vs8 on 2010-07-20 17:31:01

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Poster: robthewordsmith Date: Jul 20, 2010 10:19am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Jerry's coma

Well now this is a first. I don't recall ever seeing anyone around here who actually played with Garcia. I imagine you have some stories to tell.

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Poster: AltheaRose Date: Jul 20, 2010 11:26am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Jerry's coma

I knew someone would have that ... It's amazing he survived at all, really, let alone played again.

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